Grow in Containers!

— Written By Anelle Ammons
en Español / em Português

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Container Gardening

Whether you live in an apartment or on a sprawling farm, you can have amazing container gardens, no matter how much space you have. Containers are a great way to bring beauty to your home without a lot of work or hassle to get started. Be sure to follow some simple rules, and you’ll be growing amazing containers all around your space!

Light can be the most challenging part of a container garden. When we’re gardening outside, the light available is usually something already decided for us based on location to trees, buildings, or other structures. Take a few days in summer to look at the sunlight in your chosen area and follow it throughout the day. Jot down how many hours, at least a rough estimate, of sun you have in that location, and that will help guide what plants will grow there successfully. Full sun plants need 8+ hours of direct sun a day, part-sun or part-shade plants can survive with 4-6 hours of direct sunlight, and shade plants will be anything less than 4 hours. If you have no direct sun at all, there are still a variety of plants that will enjoy your space and bring you rewarding color. Choose plants based on your light situation, and you will be much more successful.

Because of how containers are surrounded by so much air, rather than in the ground connected to more soil, they do dry out rather quickly. Keeping your containers watered in the summer is of utmost importance. For many containers and plants, you will need to water them almost daily during the summer if there is no rain. You can do this by hand or look at installing a drip irrigation kit to do the work for you. There are even some additives out there that research has shown helps plants in containers retain moisture longer, though the cost for these can be significant. Because watering in the summer can be very intense, it might help to group your containers together so that you don’t have to wander all over the property to water them all. Grouping them together also offers fun benefits of more impactful shows of color, improving the overall look of your area.

Once you’ve chosen your location, picking plants can be one of the most fun things to do. As long as your container is large enough and your sun conditions are right, you can grow just about any plant that interests you. Many types of food grow well in containers, as well as flowers and foliage. If you’re excited to create a super impressive display, be sure to add something that grows tall, something with a lot of flowers or color, and then something that drapes over the container. Balancing those different heights will create a stunning display that you can enjoy all summer long! Be creative, and mix food and flowers into containers to see what edible beauty you can come up with!

Growing in containers can be a fun way to get outside, get some fresh air, and reconnect with the outdoors. When you choose plants to fit the lighting situation in your space, you will have a great opportunity to grow food and beautify the area around your home, no matter how big of a space you have. If you have more questions about growing in containers, call me at the office (828-465-8240) or look for upcoming gardening classes.